Mediterranean Baked Salmon

This dish just screams healthy. Fresh zucchini, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and salmon all baked together in a tasty little foil pouches, then topped with fresh herbs and feta cheese.

I left the skin on the bottom of the fish, mostly because I was too lazy to remove it, but next time I’ll take it off. It doesn’t hurt to leave it on, but when it’s cooked with the vegetables you don’t want to have to worry about navigating around it, it’s easier to have it gone from the start.

recipe from Clean Eating magazine:

serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 4-oz boneless salmon fillets
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup cooked or BPA-free canned chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp crumbled low-fat feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Cut 2 14-inch squares of foil and mist tops of each with cooking spray.  Place 1 piece salmon on each piece of foil. (NOTE: If using skin-on fillets, arrange skin side down.) Season salmon with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, chickpeas, onion and lemon juice. Spoon mixture over salmon, dividing evenly. Bring all sides together over top of salmon and fold over to form a sealed packet.
  3. Transfer packets to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before opening. Carefully open packets. To serve, sprinkle with feta and basil.

Weeknight sole with pan roasted potatoes and glazed “fat” carrots

If I had a quarter for every time I made this…I’d be a hundredaire.

What are “fat carrots”, you ask? Well, fat carrots are what happens when you don’t know how to properly water a garden even though you’ve been at it for over 3 years. If you don’t water deeply enough (which is my problem) or water too often (which is also my problem), the carrot gets all its water near the surface of the soil and doesn’t go any deeper.

Start the potatoes. These are pretty quick and easy and when they come right out of the ground, taste like no other potatoes you’ve ever had.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, leaves removed
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice the larger potatoes into 2-inch pieces and keep the smaller ones whole. Put potatoes into a small bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and into the oven for 25-30 minutes. They’re done when they start to brown and are a little crisp on the outside. Take them out of the oven and return to the bowl. Add the thyme to the potatoes and toss until coated. I usually cover the bowl in foil to keep the potatoes warm while everything else is finishing up.

When the potatoes have about 15 minutes left, start the carrots. These are quick too, about 10 minutes from start to finish. Super easy. This recipe was adapted from an Alice Waters cookbook, The Art of Simple Food.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of sugar

Add the carrots, butter, sugar and a little salt to a small frying pan on medium-high heat. When the pan heats up and the butter starts to melt, swirl everything around to combine. Add the water, cover the pan, lower the heat to medium-low and steam the carrots for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and saute the carrots for another 4-5 minutes, stirring them a few times. They should be tender with a little resistance when you stick a knife in them. You should be left with a sticky glaze that coats the carrots.

The sole is the last thing I cook because the whole shebang takes about 5 minutes. I’m using Meyer lemons, mostly because I have a small tree in the backyard that usually gives up 20 or so lemons in the winter and they pack a huge lemon punch. This one is store-bought though.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh sole filets
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to season flour)

Lightly dredge sole in seasoned flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan until it just begins to smoke. Sauté the sole until golden brown on each side (about 1 to 2 minutes per side). Remove to a plate and cover with foil.  As soon as the fish is done, crank out the sauce.

 Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Add 1 tablespoon butter to a small pan (I’ve used the same pan as the fish was in before, turns out just fine) and heat until the butter gets brown. Add white wine, lemon, capers, parsley salt and pepper. Let it all simmer in the pan for a minute or two, or until the liquid is reduced and thickened (if you’re using the pan the fish was in, it’s already hot and the reduction/thickening happens almost instantaneously). Remove the sole to a plate and pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle with more parsley if you want, you fancy bastard.